Ok we allow women to do most things now, in Our Great Mercy, but there are limits. Women can’t be pope. Women can’t be intellectually active atheists. Women can’t be wait staff at the Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague.
The Nuclear Security Summit is in its second day in The Hague and has brought leaders from 53 countries together to discuss ways of combating nuclear terrorism. The catering company responsible for feeding the leaders and delegates has made a controversial staffing decision: No female serving staff are working in the plenary room where the main talks are being held. Instead, only men over 25 have been given the privilege of serving the working lunches at the World Forum.
Gee, that is a new one. I thought serving food was one of the things women were allowed to do. Maybe it’s like cooking versus cheffing? Women are expected to do all the cooking, but men are expected to do all the cheffing. It’s easy to see why, when it’s lined up like that – cooking is something anyone can do, so women have to do it, while cheffing is skilled, so only men can do it. That’s how things are arranged. It’s not 100% accurate but by god it is simple and quick.
According to Dutch national newspaper the Algemeen Dagblad,the director of the catering company, Hans van der Linde, was looking to create a “uniform” look amongst his staff. They quote him justifying his decision in the following manner: “If 20 gentlemen are serving and three platinum blonde ladies, then that spoils the image.
“The personnel needs to act in as reserved a manner as possible, and you can’t achieve that by adding a couple of pretty, conspicuous ladies to the mix,” he added.
No, quite right. All women are platinum blonde and all are pretty and conspicuous, so obviously that is a very adequate and sensible reason for excluding them from the job of serving lunch.
In addition to the desire for uniformity, there may be other factors at play, says Jean-Paul Weijers, director of the Protocolbureau that is also involved in the summit. He believes that the decision for all-male staff within the main meeting area could be an attempt to prevent the world leaders from getting distracted. “Everything is taken into consideration when organising such an important gathering. That includes things like this.”
In addition, he says that the fact that there are world leaders from the Muslim world present may have influenced the decision making. “They understand that in the West there are different standards, but The Netherlands is a small country that is used to adapting quickly to bigger countries.”
Also very reasonable and adequate. There are many people – by which of course we mean men – who don’t want women around. It’s right and just for the Netherlands to take this natural desire into account, and exclude women from serving lunch.
In an attempt to clarify himself, van der Linde spoke to Radio 1 about keeping his female employees out of the plenary sessions. He denied ever mentioning hair colour, and told the station that he had initially come up with “the creative idea to only employ ladies to serve the world leaders, and to have them do that in little Delft Blue dresses.” His idea was apparently rejected by the ministry of Foreign Affairs, who made it clear that a more sober appearance would be appropriate. Van der Linde added: “We also have to go up a very steep flight of stairs, so little dresses wouldn’t be practical, as you wouldn’t be able to lift your legs high enough”.
You see, it just can’t be done. Van der Linde tried, he tried hard, but it can’t be done. You have them wear little Delft Blue dresses and then they can’t get up the stairs because they can’t lift their legs high enough. No matter what you try, women always have something wrong with them that makes the whole thing impossible.